tv [untitled] December 2, 2011 2:30pm-3:00pm EST
international affairs criticized as a monolith that's too slow to react to social change. for being home to the tons. and dmitri medvedev wanted russia. in two thousand and eleven. but this is r.t. top stories now the un human rights watchdog agrees to send an investigator to look at abuse allegations in syria but russia votes against a report criticizing the government crackdown is not the full picture and the international community is receiving biased accounts of what's happening in the country. and germany says there are no rapid solutions to the crisis and it could take years to revive the eurozone and save the single currency chancellor angela merkel believes the region needs a new financial union with stronger controls and debt regulations. the results of
egypt's first post revolution elections showed the turnout was the highest in the country's history it's too early to have an official leader but the muslim brotherhood is already celebrating victory claiming to have gained forty percent of the vote. to bring it up to date for the moment i'll be back in less than thirty minutes with more news for in the meantime peter lavelle and his guest discuss the deteriorating state of pakistan u.s. relations and how america's continued war on terror could be poised to lose its most vital regional ally that is cross talk for next.
hello and welcome to cross talk and peter lavelle going from very bad to even worse this is the state of u.s. pakistan relations after a cross border attack that left up to twenty pakistanis dead and pakistani public opinion outraged the stakes could not be higher for the obama administration counting on pakistan's support to wind down the last war in afghanistan. to cross-talk u.s. pakistani relations i'm joined by akhmed my g.d.r. in washington he is a senior research associate at the american enterprise institute also in washington we have robert right near he is chairman of the advisory board of our g. partners and the cia's former top counterterrorism official all right gentlemen this is crosstalk i mean you can jump in anytime you want and i very much encourage it but first let's go to our correspondent is it doesn't look like these two
countries are at loggerheads or are they going to have a collision well we'll see if it goes this far but it does appear that all efforts to mend this troubled relationship are experiencing repeated reversal we've seen this year the killing of two pakistanis by a cia contractor me says nation of osama bin laden more recently but he was accusations of pakistan's collaboration with militants and now a deadly nato air strike that hits an all time low. the attack last friday was killed at least twenty four pakistani soldiers has cost outrageousness limavady and prompted an indefinite shutdown with transit routes that supply me to. troops in afghanistan the pakistani army called the air strike unprovoked and questioned why it lasted two hours and targeted well known border posts. this was a premeditated murder of the xbox seven soldiers and i think the pakistani government was knocked off just dropping the their supplies and. there's not
enough i think must go beyond that which is what pakistan appears to be doing it is boycotting the bonn conference on afghanistan and is also said to be considering anything up to determination over its involvement in the afghan war meanwhile washington says it's satisfied with islam about its unwillingness to crack down on taliban factions for too long extremists have been able to operate here in pakistan and from pakistani soil the nosedive in u.s. pakistan relations is badly timed with president barack obama's plans to wind down the afghanistan mission and begin the withdrawal of american troops to try to avert any real damage washington too is now said to be overhearing its cooperation strategy with a slam about but all in all experts on both sides of the fence agree that mutual dependence is very likely to drive the two parties back to the negotiating table for pakistan anything short of that would mean losing u.s. aid while for the u.s. it would at the very least mean resorting to other a logistical partners in the region an option it's currently disinclined to use so
strong as both countries may feel they will turn into if they're still worse ok let's talk about some of those alternatives first i'd like to go to robert you wrote an article pakistan going rogue you said it is hard to judge such things from a distance but the pakistani reaction this time feels qualitatively different from the crises preceding it over the past few months what do you mean by that what is qualitatively different this time because there's march's report pointed out there's been a lot of downs and further downs in this relationship recently. you know that there have been in the past the perception at least has been that even when the pakistanis were very angry even when they were making threats of a future action of the it might take for instance if the u.s. were to launch a nother cross border operation such as the one that it launched to the targeted killing of bin laden back in may even then the pakistanis were leaving certain escape hatches open if you will if you will as they were they still returned to the
tail rotor of the last helicopter that went down during that operation angry as they were they still love the u.s. to have access to some of the survivors with members of bin laden's family there at the compound i don't see the pakistanis trying to hold open door this time this just seems qualitatively different to me i mean i mean when you think about that are we at a tipping point right now because robert brings up a whole lot of points that are quite valid here and plus we'll talk about the bonn conference that the pakistanis are going to at least at this point in time are boycotting yes i think that the relationship between the two countries have freaked the lowest point in ten years since the start of war and terrorism and afghanistan on the latest incident the killing off twenty four pakistani soldiers by nato was just an incident waiting to happen indeed there have been as a result of the wish damage pakistani is relationship over the past year mainly the rest of this cia operator in pakistan killing off been allowed in and also the is
accusations that they pakistani intelligence agency was involved in the attack against the u.s. embassy in pakistan but but the latest incident just added to that i believe that their relationship is in a critical and a crisis situation but i don't think that it's a breaking point and i don't think that there will be a complete breakdown of relationship between the two anytime soon and the reason for that is that both countries need each other all. well for different purposes we have to understand that the relationship between pakistan and the united states is not is to try to take alliance based on shared interest but rather it is a matter of convenience or at transactional relationship both sides need to each other but they have conflicting interests it's interesting robert if i can be counterintuitive here and this is what i hear all the time is that if this is this a deadly embrace it's a bad marriage but it's going to continue on but because it's a bad marriage both sides can make mistakes quote unquote because you know the
other side isn't going to walk away and that's that's the dilemma here right now because the level of trust is so low that each side can continue fighting their own war on terror and therefore if these two countries are fighting very different wars on terror. i think that's absolutely right that they are fighting two very different wars and the u.s. is demanding that pakistan should aid the u.s. in fighting its war the pakistanis say no we've got our hands full thank you very much you can fight your own fight and just because you are inciting militants on our side of the border to attack your troops on the afghan side that doesn't necessarily create a problem for us or one that we necessarily feel that we have to address and to the u.s. side that sounds a great deal like collusion with the enemy i mean if i can go back to you it seems to me in looking over this troubled relationship of the last decade for the united states to get out of afghanistan with any sense of dignity by two thousand and fourteen century has to destroy pakistan in the process. absolutely
so this is this is that what pakistani and understands they know that they have a major card to play here and they have a lot of leverage with the united states they need to military supplies through and through their countries they know that shutting down will be a big blow to the. operations inside afghanistan and also. needs pakistan for a political settlement in afghanistan to bring the taliban on the table but we have to understand that the leverage that pakistan has and also today u.s. dependence on on pakistan will diminish just down the road and one or two years we know that they use needed pakistan to cooperate against al qaida but also on bin laden is killed and many of the other senior al qaeda leaders are killed already their operations are disrupted significantly inside pakistan and also as the
military footprint is that menacing in afghanistan so will be dependent on pakistan so in the near future can put more pressure on pakistan and i believe that it will . pursue a tougher line with the pakistani government and the pakistani military and the i.s.i. does not change its pro-military policies ok robert i go back to you again i go back to that article that you wrote pakistan going rogue you wrote at the very end of it the u.s. has far more at stake in pakistan than it does an afghanistan can you explain that because it's very interesting in light of what a lot of republican candidates have been saying about pakistan during the recent debates. you know i think just building on some of that you said a moment ago that in the process of trying to to win or at least create a dignified exit for itself in afghanistan the u.s. runs the risk of helping to destroy pakistan i think that that's quite true and i think that our obsession with afghanistan is tending to blind us to the fact that
a great deal more harm to american interests could arise as a result of the dissolution of. civil society and politics in pakistan i disagree in a way that the u.s. is going to. be able to to increase its leverage over pakistan at the same time that pakistan leverage of the united states over time decreases yes there is the matter of aid i think that we over. i think we overestimate the degree of leverage that that gives us much as the pakistanis would like to see a continuation of u.s. aid i don't think that that's going to be a critical factor for them in making decisions about their national security going forward and i fear a situation where the u.s. and pakistan essentially are not talking to one another they are not they are not cooperating with one another and that pakistan is essentially going off on their
own what it it's interesting admitting go back to is that you know the u.s. will leave eventually afghanistan in one form or another and but pakistan will still be bordering on afghanistan and this is what the pakistanis are angling on aren't they i mean they're not going anywhere it's their neighborhood and they will determine the regional dynamics because the capital of the united states has is just a minute over time and maybe very quickly. as events unfold with a departure from afghanistan. well that's the most important point indeed because the pakistanis are uncertain about the long term commitment off the united states and the international community and afghanistan i myself have spoken to many senior pakistani offer shells and they are also uncertain about this test and ability of. all the afghan government they don't know that after two thousand and fourteen if the government of president carries they will be in place once the foreign troops leave so that's why that they are still supporting their proxies the taliban for
future influence in afghanistan against its archrival enemy and also to have dominance so that this policy for the united states and also for nato countries would be to show i mean during commitment to afghanistan not just until two thousand and fourteen but past two thousand and fourteen and to deny to stay should make it clear that it will not abandon the region once again once and for all stay there and the government of afghanistan will be supported by the international community that will send a very positive and very clear signal to the pakistani establishment that the taliban are not future of afghanistan they have to increase their leverage should totally legitimate to a strong current government not through the militant groups. we're going to go to a short break and after that short break we'll continue our discussion on the constant state of origin. in any.
i had to go through a ten year old boy that. we train him how to tell we as officers developed the orders for them to kill. we never explained to them why it's ok. most people at the point of looking down and time to pull the trigger became conscious objectors. and i don't remember squeezing the trigger man i don't remember seeing him go down all i remember is that we shot him. on the other side are soldiers too and soldiers do assault and they're trying to kill us we're trying to kill them and that's just the ugly face of war just.
nothing honorable and kelly. i went to the war zone and i started seeing how i need to change. and the only way to do there's not a rival and kill another person that's why i'm applying for constant subject. oh oh. wealthy british style. markets weiner scandal. find out what's really happening to the global economy is a report on our t.v. . critic.
welcome back to cross talk i'm beautiful about to remind you we're discussing the relations between islamabad and washington. ok robert i'd like to go back to you and the war on terror that the united states has called over the last decade has had a really huge toll in pakistan and i think western audiences particularly the united states are not really aware of that or that how many people have died as this conflict goes on and the another issue is the radicalization of politics and in pakistan i mean it has to be one of the most anti-american countries in the world i mean this is the cost of fighting a war a war that is not that is certainly not winnable in afghanistan in the united states is going to leave i mean my goodness what
a net loss all the way around for the united states in the region. it's hard to paint a pretty picture coming out of this there have been many unintended consequences of the large scale u.s. presence in afghanistan and as you point out one of those is the increasing islamic radicalization of pakistan and to the extent that the pakistan government is identified or. is considered by many pakistani militants to be a part of the problem in fact to be allying itself and aiding the united states that has brought many of these domestic militants within pakistan in open warfare with their own government so that's the main preoccupation of the pakistanis right now and i think that they fear that a continued large scale u.s. presence in afghanistan will continue the political deterioration within pakistan part of the problem here is that as has been pointed out the americans are not going to entirely go away the americans are going to maintain a presence in afghanistan they're not going to allow the taliban to overthrow the
regime in kabul what they need to do and what the president has made clear they're going to do in a subtle way is to get their presence down to a manageable level the problem is that we lack credibility the pakistanis have no faith whatsoever that the u.s. is going to stay the course in any way shape or form in afghanistan and they're not going to believe it until they see it which creates huge problems for the americans in trying to manage their relations with the pakistanis is interesting i mean also one of the casualties of this ten year war is that you basically see a civil war be going on between pakistan's military and its civil authorities there i mean with this memo gate that came out recently just shows the the division between the two how can it continue for being a reliable partner of the united states if it doesn't even have its own house in order. yeah indeed that's just been problem in the relationship with india is to say so and also pakistan because in pakistan the
military has the absolute all thora t. and if we see over the past two years the military has sidelined the civilian government we saw after bin laden's killing the. government of president zardari has just subordinated all the foreign policy to the military and when it comes to the key and vital decision making about pakistan foreign policy is the military weight just makes the shots not this if. unfortunately over the past decade and indeed since the inception of relationship between the two countries over the past five years the united states has banked on the pakistani military has not helped in a significant way this of alien government and democracy in the country which is good for the for pakistan and also for security in the region and it's time to bank a change to that policy and to continue its engaging and continue to support this.
civilian government and also this is a civil society in pakistan which are working for the progress of pakistan and on the add a hand to get a tough ally with the military establishment. and sit a carrot and stick policy and make it clear to the. establishment that they cannot continue their current policy of supporting militants without consequences and i think also the united states needs to have a fender mental change in their relationship with pakistan right now regarding pakistan policy and also engage in afghanistan it should engage with pakistan if pakistan continues if pakistan brings a change in this policy and stop supporting the militants but if pakistan continues this but nice a should have a plan b. and that should be to contain the bad actions of the pakistani military in the future ok robert is not possible because you've written many occasions that
american policy towards the pakistan in the region in general is really seriously flawed. yeah and i guess what i would say is that it's find it to say that the u.s. ought to be. trying to support civilian governance in pakistan and trying to act as a brake on the actions of the pakistan military part of the difficulties here however is that the civilian political authorities in pakistan are a pretty unlovely bunch. the lack of political support they're highly corrupt. these are not necessarily the sorts of people on whose side we want to be playing unequivocally so there's a huge difficulty there the other difficulty is that many people tend to assume that well look the pakistanis have it within their power to control the afghan taliban that if if pakistan were only willing that it could remove the safe havens
and they could essentially deliver the different elements of the insurgency to the negotiating table and fourthly that too is is incorrect the pakistanis can certainly be more helpful than they have been in recent years but they can't deliver these people these people pose a true tremendous threat to pakistan itself and as a threat that the pakistanis cannot by themselves control but it just kind of echo what robert was saying right there i mean but do you view the the pakistani taliban that's what the card up their sleeve when the americans leave because again we keep going around in circles here is that pakistan wants to determine the future of afghanistan and make sure there is a friendly state and this is the great dilemma here and going off with robert that also mean it will the presence of an american american troops there still be a big barrier for islam about to get their way and eventually in afghanistan. well as i mentioned. before i think that this illusion to afghanistan does not lie
and the alliance with pakistan we see it has failed to change the facts and policy regarding the afghan taliban over the past ten years and i don't think that pakistan will change its policy regarding supporting the afghan taliban. until two thousand and fourteen so that's why dissolution lies inside afghanistan good to say it has to understand that the key solution to that is to strengthen the afghan government and also the afghan national security forces to enable them and not just to prevent the return of the taliban and defend their country against them i'd also after two thousand and fourteen definitely do well be a level of insurgency happening in that region so there is a need of at is a to all u.s. forces something maybe between twenty thousand which should continue contacting the counterterrorism operations against the taliban and also helping the afghan
national army which is not able to defend against the taliban on its own exactly where we're going to go back to the pakistanis saying they're not going to go to the bonn conference i mean how much of a slap in the is a real slap in the face or do something symbolic at this point in time because pakistan is very confident that there will be some kind of settlement and they'll be a big player in it they can walk away from this conference right now with confidence that at least giving the americans noticed that the public opinion purposes at home they have to be listened to more in an apology is needed more than an apology for what happened at their border crossing. here i think the pakistanis can fairly securely walk away from this conference at the end of the day if that is all a part of participants in this process such as it is or equal pakistan has a great deal more weight at the table and an international process to try to bring about a political solution in afghanistan that does not include pakistan is a process that is going to go absolutely nowhere what do you think about that
argument i mean is this being done for public opinion purposes back in islam about showing because i it's very interesting the military is taking advantage of this tragic situation by saying look we're waving the flag we're going to play tough with the americans we're going to shut down the supply routes the cia operations the drones are going to be suspended thrown out eccentrics at your show they're showing themselves to be quite tough right now and that's what the public wants. yeah you are absolutely right mean you have to retaliate three actions that pakistan has taken after twenty four soldiers of it was killed by a nato air strike has been directed at a domestic audience far just a mistake because after divinity and killing they are misprints states has really been tarnation diminish inside pakistan so the army needs to show some. has to take a very tough stance against the united states. inside pakistan so that's
why it has just kept nato supplies it has asked the united states to leave the base which is a use for drones attacks but i think that this will change pakistan has taken similar actions in the past but then has reversed that just time scam and. similarly about the bonn conference i think this is a big disadvantage to pakistan and it's somehow ironic that pakistan usually come plays that pakistan is not given a proper role that it is our if in the end game in afghanistan but when there is an international conference that is deciding on the future of afghanistan then it just walks away with that from that and i think that this just in militias there pakistan's role in the end game in afghanistan so this is not good for pakistan itself robert what has the americans learned anything from this event here because they we got a lot of different versions of what happened out of the pentagon in the state department in they'll be an investigational now but i mean is there a learning curve here or are we just all agreed where this could be us and pakistan
are just going to go from one bad experience to another until there's some kind of critical mass two thousand and fourteen what will the american withdrawal and we're just going to continue seeing these things. well you know i'm not sure that a resolution if there can be one of this cross border incident is really going to be all that important i don't think the pakistanis at the end of the day are going to be satisfied with any of the americans explanations that. will believe what they want to believe i mean i don't have any reason to believe that this was anything other than an unfortunate accident but what i think is far more significant here is not so much the incident itself and the aftermath of it but the the evidence that this brings of increasing degree of brittleness in the u.s. pakistan relationship a couple of years ago the relationship could have withstood an incident like this now it really can't and so i think it's the underlying situation is far more significant than this this particular unfortunate incident. very